As a private-practice accountant, you may not think of your business as a brand. Yet as the accounting landscape grows more competitive – and big players get bigger, in spite of the pandemic – you need to find a way to set yourself apart. Today, people may care about your brand just as much as they care about the accounting services you provide. To build your brand and find clients to grow your practice, you must market yourself.
When marketing yourself today, it’s not just about what you do; it’s equally about who you are. That doesn’t mean you have to get overly personal, however. The “who” is the who of the brand. Is your practice honest, attentive, service-oriented – in other words, should your clients trust you with their finances? In addition to providing high-quality financial advice on loans, tax deductions, pricing and more, you must make sure your clients feel cared for. You can communicate this commitment and conscientiousness through marketing.
Personalization is the key for accountants looking to build trust with clients and prospects. For those unconvinced, personalization supports several business benefits, such as:
- Encouraging engagement: 71% of consumers only engage with personalized messaging, according to SmarterHQ – making personalization crucial for client acquisition.
- Improving client experience: 72% of consumers enjoy getting personalized promotions and/or messages from the businesses they visit, according to the DaySmart 2020 Consumer Report. Accountants that take the time to send a personal message will set themselves apart from competitors with generic messaging.
The need for personalized marketing goes beyond its business benefits, though. The more that professional services leverage personalization, the more clients expect it from the brands they interact with – including their accountants. In fact, the absence of personalization can detriment client experiences:
- 74% of clients feel frustrated when website content is not personalized, according to Instapage
- 70% of Millennials feel frustrated with brands that send irrelevant emails, according to SmarterHQ
In other words, outdated websites, generic emails and traditional methods such as paper mailers, newspaper ads – and certainly word of mouth – will not cut it for today’s savvy prospects. For an experience to qualify as “personalized,” 57% of consumers believe that the business should make them feel like their preferences are known without having to ask, according to the DaySmart 2020 Consumer Report. It’s also important for the business to offer specific recommendations based on clients’ needs (53%). But how can accountants know clients’ preferences without asking? They’re math wizards, not mind readers.
Private practice accountants need a marketing strategy that leverages personalization and makes clients feel cared for – which means, turning to the data.
Accountant Marketing Capabilities Harness Data and Fuel Personalization
Believe it or not, if you have online scheduling software, you already possess all the information you need. When you implemented online appointment scheduling, you may have done it to save time and delight clients with the convenience of do-it-yourself booking. At the time, you may not have realized that you also implemented a way to store and leverage client data for marketing.
With AppointmentPlus, software built for accountant marketing, you gain dynamic reporting options that allow you to track client appointment history. With client history reports, you can build data-driven, personalized marketing campaigns that “wow” your clients. With this data at your fingertips, you will be able to:
- Remember client preferences without having to ask – they’re all stored in your online scheduling software
- Make specific recommendations based on needs – what were their pain points or questions last time you worked together?
- Segment clients into different lists based on their preferences and history to send highly personalized content (no one wants to read a generic email).
Develop email or text campaigns, such as:
Thank You for Your Business
– Sending a follow-up email after each appointment to make sure your clients are satisfied. In this email, you can also suggest that clients leave an online review for your practice.
– These emails are sent to clients who are likely ready for their next appointment but haven’t scheduled one yet.
Custom recurring campaign
– Create your own automated campaign to target the clients you want to reach. E.g., As tax season approaches, each of your clients should be reminded of your services.
– You can also send one-time emails to your desired audience.
- Brand your emails and provide valuable, educational content to your clients. 91% of U.S. adults like to receive promotional emails from companies they do business with, according to MarketingSherpa.
By leveraging client history data for marketing, accountants can not only be more strategic with their messaging and targets, but they can also reinforce a positive brand image.
Further, leveraging AppointmentPlus, private-practice accountants can automate these campaigns, ensuring marketing does not become a burden to their bandwidth. 91% of accountants say technology gives them more time to focus on their clients or simply improve productivity overall, according to the Practice of Now 2020 report. This percentage increased from the previous year, when 83% of accountants expressed a similar sentiment – showing the trend toward adopting tools with automation capabilities to free up accountants to provide better service.
Other Software Features to Support Strategic Branding
AppointmentPlus also offers valuable features like social media integration, email appointment notifications and text message reminders. These tools give you control of the end-to-end client experience. From the moment a prospect discovers you on Facebook, to their decision to book an appointment with you, to the day before the appointment – you can use AppointmentPlus to create a touchpoint with the client. While these capabilities are not central to a traditional marketing strategy, they are important ways to show clients you care. This holistic approach to managing your professional brand – all from one system – makes competing in today’s digital age and acquiring more clients that much easier.
Are you ready to modernize, personalize and thrive? AppointmentPlus delivers capabilities that make accountant marketing easy and effective. Discover how our online scheduling software can support your marketing strategy and more by visiting this product page.
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